Chris Evans and Channing Tantum were almost cast in Avatar
In a recent interview with Empire, director and visionary James Cameron has revealed that MCU star Chris Evans and 21 Jump Street actor Channing Tatum were the two actors up against Sam Worthington for the lead role of Jake Sully in the original Avatar.
“Chris Evans, and Sam, and Channing Tatum. That was my choice,” Cameron said. “I really liked Channing’s appeal. I liked Chris’ appeal. They were both great guys. But Sam had a quality of voice and a quality of intensity. Everybody did about the same on all the material through the script, except for the final speech where he stands up and says, ‘This is our land, ride now, go as fast as the wind can carry you.’ That whole thing. I would have followed him into battle. And I wouldn’t have followed the other guys. They’ve since gone onto fantastic careers and all that, but Sam was ready. He was ready.”
Sam Worthington will be returning for Avatar sequels alongside Zoe Saldana, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald and Sigourney Weaver. Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis and Oona Chaplin are also joining the sequels.
Filming officially started on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 on September 25, 2017. Shortly after, James Cameron announced young cast members for the sequel, which include the Sully family and children from the Metkayina Na’vi clan who live near ocean reefs, led by Tonowari (Cliff Curtis). The only actor who will appear in live-action playing a non-CGI character is Jack Champion as Javier “Spider” Socorro, a human teen born at the Hell’s Gate military complex seen in the first film.
20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment previously announced release dates for the four Avatar sequels. Avatar 2 will be coming to theaters on December 18, 2020, and will be followed by Avatar 3 on December 17, 2021. Filming will then begin on Avatar 4 and Avatar 5, which will be released on December 20, 2024 and December 19, 2025, with Cameron’s caveat that they won’t make 4 and 5 if 2 and 3 aren’t successful.
Released in 2009, the first Avatar film remains the highest-grossing film worldwide with over $2.7 billion in box office grosses. Titanic was previously the record holder with $2.186 billion worldwide.